Heading to the Outer Banks with children in tow? You’ll be glad to know that these beautiful barrier islands offer countless opportunities for family-focused fun. Here are a few suggestions.
Ready for an up-close-and-personal look at the NC Outer Banks? Try kayaking. This hugely popular watersport lets you and your family paddle across calm, shimmering sounds; over grass-fringed salty marshes; and through secluded nature preserves teeming with coastal wildlife. It’s an eye-opening, fascinating way to explore the OBX.
#1 Morning Jog on the Beach
There is nothing more motivating than seeing the sunrise over the ocean while hearing the peaceful sound of the waves slapping the shore. Instead of sitting on the deck of your vacation rental watching the sunrise take this opportunity to go for a peaceful morning jog on the beach.
#2 Take a Bike Ride
Riding a bike may seem simple and not compare to your usual work out regiment, but it has actually provided all of us great exercise since we were kids.
#3 Swim a Few Laps
We all love getting in the ocean to floating around, doggy paddling with the kids, or laying out in a float on a calm day. Next time you decide to jump in the ocean to cool off try swimming. Swimming is often overlooked as exercise but it causes you to engage your whole body in a good work out.
#4 Go Surfing
Surfing is not only an amazing full body work out, but it’s also a lot of fun. If you don’t know how to surf there are plenty of training camps on the Outer Banks. This may be the perfect time for you to learn!
#5 Paddle Board
Paddle boarding is a great upper body work out. You are constantly engaging your upper body while getting to enjoy the peacefulness of being out on the ocean relaxing.
Whether you choose to go ocean kayaking or go kayaking in the sound, it is sure to be a fun and relaxing way to keep in shape on your Outer Banks vacation. We recommend looking at places such as Kitty Hawk Kites for great kayak tours.
#7 Beach Yoga
If you are someone that like to really take it easy and relax then beach yoga is perfect for you! Break out the yoga mat under a beautiful sunrise on the beach to get a blissful exercise.
Plan an excursion! This will be sure to be a fun activity for the whole family. Nags Head Woods has some great trails and beautiful scenery to complete the perfect family excursion.
#9 Throw a Frisbee
We all know it and most of us love it. Throwing a Frisbee is not a new beach activity but it will continue to be fun beach exercise. Your core, arms, and legs all get worked out while you have a blast with the kids.
#10 Portion Sizes
There’s something about a historic lighthouse that can transport you back in time in an instant. Two different kinds of historic lighthouses occur throughout the barrier islands, and maritime aficionados will enjoy visiting both of them.
The Outer Banks has three tall or “coastal” lighthouses that were built to warn passing ships about dangerous offshore shoals: Bodie Island lighthouse (built in 1872), Cape Hatteras lighthouse (built in 1869), and Currituck Beach lighthouse (built in 1875).
The two “harbor lights” lighthouses were built to help ships pass through to safe anchorage: Bald Head Island lighthouse, or “Old Baldy,” was built in 1797 and Ocracoke lighthouse was built in 1823. As you tour these lighthouses and take in the unique and rugged geography around them, you’ll get a real appreciation for why lighthouses are such a beloved part of North Carolina’s history.
Kayaking is a truly special way to experience the Outer Banks. Miles and miles of calm waters and pristine beaches invite you to explore. Guided kayak tours are available throughout the islands, and tour exertion levels can scale up or down to fit almost anyone’s ability. Before you begin your kayak tour, an experienced guide will show you how to safely and easily navigate your kayak, and will give you an overview of what you can expect to see.
Popular kayak tours include gliding past downtown Manteo and Ocracoke Village, birding and nature tours through quiet canals, taking in spectacular sunsets, and dolphin spotting. Kayak tour companies are spread throughout the Outer Banks, and the largest is Kitty Hawk Kites. Kitty Hawk Kites has a variety of popular tours, so it’s a good idea to call in advance to reserve your spot for their nature, sunset, or overnight pack trips.
One of the biggest draws to the Outer Banks is offshore fishing for large fish such as tuna, swordfish, and mahi-mahi. Charters accommodate groups of up to six people, so splitting expenses with two other couples or another family is a nice way to make this a cost-effective activity. Your charter captain will take you out to the Gulf Stream at dawn, an exhilarating experience in itself, and set you up with everything you need to land a good fish story — and a delicious dinner. Bring plenty of food, drinks, sunscreen, and motion sickness remedies. White, long-sleeved shirts, polarized sunglasses, and sun hats are also a good idea.
Standup paddleboarding is a relaxing way to experience the Outer Banks from the water. Paddleboarding is easy to learn and can be adapted for almost any fitness level. As one of the largest watersports outfitters, Kitty Hawk Kites rents paddleboards, provides lessons, and offers paddleboard tours of Kitty Hawk, Duck, and Manteo. You’ll receive about 15 minutes of simple instruction heading out behind your tour guide through the peaceful Sound waters. Paddleboarders frequently have close-up dolphin encounters, so just relax, paddle slowly, and enjoy the views.
Speaking of dolphins, Outer Banks dolphins have a reputation for being just as excited to see people as people are to see them. A daytime or sunset dolphin cruise is the best way to spot friendly Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins as well as seabirds, turtles, and other wildlife. Paradise Dolphin Cruises is a popular dolphin-spotting choice for Outer Banks visitors. Their large catamarans are comfortable, shaded, and handicapped accessible, and their captains have a solid reputation for finding as many dolphins as you care to see.
With the top down, the sun on your face and the wind in your hair — is there a better way to experience Nature’s beauty than from a classic safari Jeep? Jeep tours in the Outer Banks allow you to cover plenty of ground while keeping you connected with the sights and sounds of these special surroundings. Corolla Jeep Adventures offer several ways to experience the Outer Banks from a safari Jeep. You can even reserve a Jeep for a 25-mile off-road self-guided tour where you’ll see wild horses, historic villages, lighthouses, and much more.
Touring the Outer Banks by land or sea is the perfect way to get to know North Carolina’s barrier islands. Whether you take a leisurely self-guided tour or follow an experienced guide along local roads, trails, or canals, a tour of the Outer Banks will be an enriching experience you’ll never forget.
A Girl Time Escape to the Outer Banks
Whether it’s you and your daughters, multiple generations, or multiple families sharing a vacation property for the week, the Outer Banks is the perfect spot for the girls to relax and create memories together. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your special “girls-only” time.=&0=&=&1=&
Must-Do Activities The Outer Banks Is Famous For
An Outer Banks vacation offers plenty of opportunities to take it easy as you explore the beach and settle into your relaxing rental home. As you soak in the gorgeous ocean vistas, you will also want to take advantage of the many activities the Outer Banks is famous for so you can create new memories with your family. Whether you crave historical exploration, a day of shopping, or some challenging outdoor adventures, the Outer Banks has something for everyone.=&0=&=&1=&
See Wild Horses
There is no place else in the United States that you can view wild Spanish Mustangs in their natural habitat except Corolla, NC. Bring your camera, rent a Jeep and take off down the beach for an off-road wild horse adventure. These amazing creatures have roamed free in this area for half a century. Kids and teens who are animal lovers will be amazed at the beauty, power and grace these horses display.
Become a Junior Ranger
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers a Junior Ranger program for kids ages 5-13. Running mid-June through Labor Day, the program gives kids the chance to learn about marine life through fun activities.
Visit The Pit
Teens want to be with others their own age and now they have three chances a week (during summer months) to do just that. The Pit hosts Teen Night on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with the hottest music, a huge dance floor, dance contests, games and more. The best part (for parents) is the “friendly but firm” security that patrols the party, making sure everyone is safe. Teens and young adults ages 13-21 are welcome.
Hang at the Children @ Play Museum
From Science Thursdays with hands-on activities to the Teddy Bear Wellness Center where children get to play doctor, Children @ Play Museum has so much for kids to explore and learn. Your little ones get the thrill of discovering the first flight of the Wright Brothers, the joys of fishing and more that make for a fun afternoon while developing skill sets. They’ll want to return again and again.
Climb Historic Lighthouses
From Bodie Island to Cape Hatteras and more, let your young ones burn off some pent-up energy climbing the steps to the top of Outer Banks lighthouses. With 257 stairs, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse gives a bird’s eye view of the water and also houses a gift shop, picnic area and nature trail. The Bodie Island lighthouse has 214 steps and is surrounded by a mixture of marshlands, maritime forest and saltwater ponds: a great recipe for attracting birds and other wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera!
Become a Pirate
At Pirate Adventures of the OBX, your kids can come aboard and experience a bit of the pirate life. They’ll learn the rules of the sea as they go in search of Pirate Pete and the map they need to find the sunken treasure. It’s an experience designed to educate, expand their imaginations and enlighten their minds.
Hang Out with Dolphins
You won’t find dolphins in every ocean in the world. They are partial to the Atlantic Ocean for its temperature and food sources. While you can often see dolphins swimming by from the shore, there are ways you can get closer to these extremely smart and friendly creatures. Booking a dolphin tour is educational and fun and isn’t as expensive as you might think. Join the
Nags Head Dolphin Watch
|Nothing like an Outer Banks Sunrise|
|Kayaking in the ocean (take a look at the next wave!).|
|Nothing beats the solitude of the Currituck light in the evening|
Daniel says “Nothing like an Outer Banks Blue Vacation!” Thanks Daniel for sharing.Also this week we have for you the photo shared with us by Jenn Eustace of Oaklyn, New Jersey who stayed with Outer Banks Blue about a month ago in the property “Even Steven” in Duck. Jenn and her crew went on a kayaking adventure while here on the Outer Banks which just goes to show the great variety of activities available to all vacationers here on the beach!
|Let’s go Kayaking!|
Thanks Jenn for sharing your photo memories of your recent trip to the OBX!All the best from the beach!By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services